Facts About the Earth’s Atmosphere



  • In the atmosphere, the temperatures are very high, but there is so little gas that there is little heat.
  • Temperatures rise from —120°C to 2000°C 700 km up.
  • The exosphere is the highest level of the atmosphere where it fades into the nothingness of space.
  • The atmosphere is a sea of colourless, tasteless, odourless gases, mixed with moisture and fine dust particles. It is about 1000 km deep but has no distinct edge, simply fading into space. As you move up, each layer contains less gas. The topmost layers are very rarefied.
  • Low-level satellites orbit within the outer layers of the atmosphere.
  • The atmosphere protects us from meteorites and radiation from space The stratosphere contains the ozone layer, which protects us from the Sun’s UV rays Airliners climb to the stratosphere to find calm air Stratosphere The troposphere is the layer we live in A4…tmosphere
  • The atmosphere is a blanket of gases about 1000 km deep around the Earth. It can be divided into five layers: troposphere (the lowest), stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere.
  • The atmosphere is: 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 1 percent argon and carbon dioxide with tiny traces of neon, krypton, zenon, helium, nitrous oxide, methane and carbon monoxide.
  • The atmosphere was first created by the fumes pouring out from the volcanoes that covered the early Earth 4000 million years ago. But it was changed as rocks and seawater absorbed carbon dioxide, and then algae in the sea built up oxygen levels over millions and millions of years.
  • The troposphere is just 12 km thick yet it contains 75 percent of the weight of gases in the atmosphere. Temperatures drop with height from 18°C on average to about —60°C at the top, called the tropopause.
  • The stratosphere contains little water. Unlike the troposphere, which is heated from below, it is heated from above as the ozone in it is heated by ultraviolet light from the Sun. Temperatures rise with height from —60°C to 10°C at the top, about 50 km up.
  • The stratosphere is clear and calm, which is why planes try to fly in this layer.
  • The mesosphere contains few gases but it is thick enough to slow down meteorites. They burn up as they hurtle into it, leaving fiery trails in the night sky. Temperatures drop from 10°C to —120°C 80 km up.
  • The stratosphere glows faintly at night because sodium from salty sea spray reacts chemically in the air.